Should cats do Pilates?

I know Ursula the British Shorthair is keen on Pilates. But is it good for her? Should cats do Pilates? Are there associated health hazards? To mention only the obvious ones, might 3 hours of Pilates per week trigger arthritis, anxiety, cat flu, alopaecia, hypertension or psoriasis? Might it hasten catopause?

My cat sits on the mat five minutes before the online class begins.

Black cat on red exercise mat with small Japanese cushion

The cat sat on the mat ready for online Pilates.

Ursula sees her role not as a fellow student but as my supervisor. In the photo below she critiques my breathing and wills me to relax my shoulders as I do the bridge.

Cat watching woman doing Pilates

Ursula monitors my bridge technique

Of course I appreciate her help, even when her own technique is, well, not always perfect. However, Pilates is designed for human metabolism and biped anatomy, and this practice may be causing her actual harm. As her brow-beaten owner I need to know whether to permit this activity: because should cats do Pilates, or not? Am I overthinking?

Please advise. My motives are impeccable: my only concern is for Ursula’s well being. By assisting me she puts herself at great risk of being squashed, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Drawing of woman in plank position over a cat

Ursula assists me to maintain proper plank position at great risk to herself

17 thoughts on “Should cats do Pilates?

  1. LA says:

    Mine prefers Zumba….

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Danger cat!

      1. LA says:


  2. As long as it is a supervisory role only nothing catastrophic will happen.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I see what you mean. She does assist with a nudge and a demon. But perhaps I’m the one in danger.

  3. As usual, I think Ursula knows her stuff! πŸ™‚

  4. Sadje says:

    She is adorable.

  5. I have no opinion on a cat doing pilates, but I enjoyed reading of Ursula’s role in your life.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I won’t tell her that because it will only go to her head

  6. She is on the mat five minutes before the class begins…hmm. Is she thinking, ‘Should humans do pilates? I’d better supervise’?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh. I’d better reframe. All this anthropmorphising can go off target. Thanks Anne.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    She definitely dislikes the whole idea as her facial expression shows. She is afraid she might get crushed as you come down from the plank.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Not afraid enough. She sits there on purpose.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Ha! Daring you to stay in a plank no doubt.

  8. bone&silver says:

    I think EVERYONE should do Pilates πŸ’ͺ🏼πŸ’ͺ🏼

  9. alison41 says:

    I am alarmed by your post. A planked Ursula? no-no-no-. May I respectfully suggest we are approach the conundrum from another point of view, viz. the feline perspective. Thus the question rephrased: Should humans do Pilates and more specifically, Cat Staff?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Indeed. Whatever was I thinking?

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